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Old 02-21-2011, 12:10 AM   #1 
VTAb182
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Is an airline tubing siphon strong enough to pick up debris?

I want to get a siphon to make water change easier in my 2.5 gal tank (I know it's already small, but it's up high and planted so I don't want to disturb the plants or risk spilling all over my computer). The smallest gravel vac I've found has a 6" chamber and my tank is only 8" high with probably only 6" of water due to substrate and not filling to the rim. I don't think that leaves enough room for the gravel vac to actually do any cleaning, so I'm wondering if just using some airline tubing would create enough suction to siphon water and pick up some debris sitting on the gravel? Thanks!

p.s. - this is the tubing I'm referring to: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Airline-Tu.../dp/B0002APXOQ
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:43 AM   #2 
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Airline tubbing will work pretty much the same, just that you cover less area with each pass increasing the time you spend syphoning. Plus the gravel will get stuck in the tube.
The syphons won't allow the gravel go all the way to the tube, all you have to do is lift from the bottom of the tank and it will release the gravel thatt it suction up.
Just get the smallest one you find... as long as you have the wide part under water and the other end of the tube at a lower level, it'll work perfectly.
My syphon is 9" and I used it on my 2.5 tanks all the time.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:53 AM   #3 
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That's a good point. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:41 AM   #4 
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No prob!!
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:03 PM   #5 
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I use airline tubbing to spot clean the surface of my sand in my 5 gallon tank. It works well.I tried it with gravel and the littler pieces of gravel kept getting stuck in the tube, and it was sort of annoying. I found that if I cut the tip at an angle the little gravel pieces didn't get stuck as often.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:37 PM   #6 
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I know! It's VERY annoying... I was dividing my 10 galon so I had to empty it and reuse the water because it was already cycled so i placed the ariline tubbing in the tank to move the water from one tank to another... well, I had to keep coming back to unplug the tube UGH!
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:44 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilmarisv View Post
I know! It's VERY annoying... I was dividing my 10 galon so I had to empty it and reuse the water because it was already cycled so i placed the ariline tubbing in the tank to move the water from one tank to another... well, I had to keep coming back to unplug the tube UGH!
I got so annoyed once that I just kept a pair of scissors near by...everytime a piece would get stuck I would just snip that little part off!


If you decide to do water changes with tubing I would try to find one that has a smaller hole than the gravel can fully fit into, that way the gravel doesn't get sucked into the tube and cause an annoyance.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:31 PM   #8 
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You can always saw off any excess plastic to shorten the "chamber" of the tube. This will make your gravel vac more efficient and easier to use in smaller tanks. Like this:
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